SKUDAI, 27th March – Siva Nagappan Visvesvaran, a first year student majoring in Electrical Power Engineering, has made UNITEN proud with his recent achievement in being awarded “Anugerah Pemimpin Sukarelawan (Alam Sekitar)” (Translation : Voluntarism Leaders (Environment) Awards). The ceremony took place at Dewan Sultan Iskandar, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM), Skudai, Johor.
The award was presented by Deputy Higher Education Minister, Datuk Dr. Mary Yap Kain Ching, accompanied by Secretary General of the Ministry of Higher Education (MOHE) Tan Sri Dr. Noorul Ainur Mohd Nur and Director-General of Higher Education, Datin Paduka Ir. Dr. Siti Hamisah. Siva, who is also one of the 5 candidates for the award “Anugerah Tokoh Siswa Kebangsaan 2016” or National Student Leadership Awards 2016, an award delivered by Minister of Higher Education, Dato’ Seri Haji Idris bin Jusoh, is proving to be an inspiring figure in UNITEN.
In an attempt to further know him and his achievement, the NADi UNITEN team conducted a short interview session with Siva, who is currently in the United States of America for an academic fellowship by the Young Southeast Asian Leadership Initiative (YSEALI).
When asked about the projects and programs he’s conducted and achievements he’s attained that led him to where he is now, Siva highlighted SEALS (Soft-skills Enhancement and Leadership Support) club, a popular club in UNITEN, enthusiastically.
“My journey started off with SEALS. which is a really supportive group and they would always like new ideas for programs that can help students,” Siva said, speaking fondly of the club, “I’ve actually organized countless programs under SEALS and it has helped me to become a better leader and taught me a lot about communication and working in a team.”
To have been nominated for “Anugerah Pemimpin Sukarelawan (Alam Sekitar)”, a potential candidate would have to submit two programs. In Siva’s case, he handed in his application with Project Paplet and Coral Propagation at Pulau Kapas, both programs that he conducted under SEALS.
Siva also mentioned how he was amazed to have received the award, especially at the tender age of merely 20 years old. “Honestly, I would never imagine that I would get such an award at this really young age. Even during the interview, the officer told me that I was the youngest because everybody else who got shortlisted were final year students. I thought my chances were slim since they had a lot of experience for many years of being in university.”
However, Siva still managed to beat the odds despite his young age. He claims to be “still in shock for reaching that far”.
Apart from that, NADi also asked him for some parting words to advise students who have a dream, but are too afraid to do anything about them. “There’s this really awesome quote by Steve Jobs when he gave his commencement speech at Stanford University: ‘Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish’. I believe students have to be always curious and hungry for knowledge about the world to reach greatness. It’s not all about your degree alone. It’s about surviving the world out there and for that we need skills to do so,” Siva stated passionately.
“So I would recommend students to go out of their comfort zone and push themselves to their limit by participating and organizing events that benefit the people. It’s going to be difficult, but don’t think about the struggles. Think about how it’s going to benefit you and how it’s going to benefit others around you. So, participate, learn and realize your true potential,” he added.
The NADi UNITEN team applauds Siva on his great accomplishment and we wish you all the best in your future pursuits in life.
Written by: Ahmad Danial ‘Irfan bin Husain